The Paper Chase is a novel perhaps better known as a movie about a law student's first year at Harvard and his longing to understand the ever-elusive subject of Contracts taught by the brilliant Professor Charles Kingsfield. He is feared in his unending knowledge of the subject and his evisceration of ill-prepared students.
It might be that Kingsfield is a caricature of the crusty Socratic professors of old that his character is so memorable. But there's an infectiousness to his love of contracts that the protagonist adopts--and one that can draw in even the casual non-legal viewer. (Until they take Contracts, that is.)
And it's scenes like the one below that give the law school its mystique to the public.